Susan K. Keim, MSN, MS, CRNP
Health care today is complex and ever-changing, requiring leaders who can facilitate safe, high-quality care and develop innovative approaches to both improving and creating new care delivery models.
As director of Penn Nursing’s graduate Nursing & Healthcare Administration and Leadership programs, and backed by her experience as both a hospital administrator at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a nurse practitioner in primary care, Susan K. Keim is helping to develop those leaders.
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 2011
- MS, University of Maryland , 1987
- BS, William Paterson University, 1980
The two programs — Nursing & Healthcare Administration and Health Leadership — offer students a vast array of inter-professional learning opportunities and several dual degree programs. Nursing & Healthcare Administration, a collaboration between Penn Nursing, the Wharton School, and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Organizational Dynamics program, prepares nurses for leadership positions in diverse healthcare settings.
The Health Leadership program is designed to enable students to develop their own course of study, and offers dual master’s degrees in nursing and public health, bioethics, and law. Ms. Keim helped develop the MSN and Master in Law (ML) in the Health Law Track, which was introduced in 2015. This program is designed to develop health policy leaders who have the necessary understanding of health law and legal principles to navigate the complex health care regulatory system.
As a PhD student at Penn Nursing, Ms. Keim is researching factors associated with early hospital readmission in middle-aged and older adults. Her goal is to further define preventable readmissions by discerning factors related to 7- and 15-day readmissions from 30-day readmissions.
In addition to overseeing the continual refinement of the Nursing & Healthcare Administration and Health Leadership curricula, Ms. Keim teaches several graduate courses: Systems Thinking in Patient Safety (NURS650), Nursing Administration Practicum (NURS655), and Advanced Roles in Administrative Nursing Practice (NURS699).
In 2016, Ms. Keim and another PhD student at Penn Nursing, Emilia Flores, MS, RN, received the 2nd Place Award from the Penn Social Innovation Lab for an intervention to reduce re-admissions for heart failure. “FollowUp” combines a hospital-generated e-mail notification to the primary care physician when the patient is discharged and a process for the primary care office to schedule timely follow-up appointments. The next step is a pilot of “FollowUp,” possibly at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Students in the Nursing & Healthcare Administration and Health Leadership programs routinely take courses with students in other schools on campus. For example, faculty from the schools of nursing and medicine co-teach a course on improving health care quality, which students from both schools take. Students also have an opportunity to interact with Penn Nursing alumni, who serve as guest lecturers and preceptors.
Ms. Keim is working with other faculty to develop a doctorate program in nursing practice (DNP) in executive leadership. This program will prepare experienced leaders who aim to strategically and sustainably improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of evidence-based healthcare delivery. It will combine online learning and a few days of intensive on-campus learning each semester.
Selected Career Highlights
- Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
- Nurse Educator Award, Graduate Student Organization, Penn Nursing
- Co-Vice Chair, Biobehavioral Health Sciences Department, Penn Nursing